Becoming a teacher in Further Education is a rewarding and fulfilling career. Teaching is one of the careers in the world that offer the power to inspire a whole generation, personal pride, and satisfaction.
Whether you are thinking to start your working life or changing careers then Further Education provides opportunities to teach, lead and inspire people from across society. Being a Further Education Teacher/Lecturer means you will teach students over the age of 14.
Further Education includes a various range of subjects and qualifications. The qualifications may range from basic literacy and numeracy to higher-level apprenticeships, including T-levels, which are vocational alternatives to A-levels.
Starting a teaching career in Further Education with teacher training is more straightforward as there is no national curriculum for it. Therefore, the courses are often tailored to meet employer needs and you can become an educator in Further Education without a teaching qualification.
What does a Further Education Teacher do?
Further education lecturers work in a range of different learning environments, varying from colleges, private training centers to community centers and the armed forces.
As a Further Education (FE) Teacher, the types of courses/subjects that are taught include:
- Vocational training (including apprenticeships) that train students for work in industries such as construction, childcare, or catering – leading to qualifications (BTECs) and making sure they have up-to-date skills.
- Academic subjects, teaching a range of academic subjects such as English and Maths – leading to qualifications, mainly at GCSE and A-level.
- Teaching basic functional skills in areas such as Literacy, Numeracy, and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) to higher-level apprenticeships, including the new T-levels, which are equivalent to A-levels.
- Teaching recreational and hobby courses that support personal interests, such as photography, local history, etc.
- Various teaching methods such as seminars, tutorials, and demonstrations can be used, depending on the subjects being taught.
Responsibilities – Daily Tasks would normally include:
- Scheduling and preparing lessons/seminars.
- Teaching inflexible and varying formats like full-time, part-time (day or evening), or open-access workshops as well as online.
- Monitoring, assessing, and marking students’ assignments, tests, and exams.
- Developing new topics, courses, teaching materials, and online resources.
- Keeping records, carrying out some administrative tasks, and interviewing prospective students.
- Attending meetings, professional development courses, and workshops.
- Supporting students as a personal tutor and helping them with solving their problems also with regards to mental health support.
- Providing additional support for students with their studying and managing practical work, or field trips.
What Qualifications are required to become a Further Education Lecturer?
There are many types of standard teaching qualifications available, but you will likely need to hold a minimum of a Level 3 qualification in the subject area you wish to teach. A teaching qualification is also required that should be relevant to your level of teaching job responsibility.
However, employers are free to set their own specific entry requirements concerning teacher training and education requirements.
- Level 3 Award in Education and Training – This is a short introductory course (approx. 10 weeks) that does not involve a teaching placement. It is recommended for those thinking about working in further education. Level 3 Award in Education and Training – AET (Former PTTLS) covers understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a teacher, and different learning and assessment methods.
- Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training – This course is suitable for those who are already teaching. It helps develop practical teaching skills and covers units on lesson planning, teaching and assessment methods, and teaching resources. Students are required to carry out a minimum of 30 hours of teaching practice. The duration of this course is between six and nine months.
- Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training – This course is considered as a ‘full’ teaching qualification and is suitable for teachers who have access to a minimum of 100 hours of teaching practice. It covers units on developing teaching and assessment skills, models of learning, and professional practice. It is suitable for teachers who wish to teach functional skills in literacy, numeracy, and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). The duration of this course is between one and two years.
There are various colleges, universities, and private training providers who offer these qualifications. First, they will assess your skills and knowledge in academic subjects such as English, Maths, and ICT when you apply.
To apply for the Award, Certificate, or Diploma, it is mandatory to have Level 2 qualifications, for example, GCSEs or equivalent.
Further Education Teacher Salary
You could expect to earn around £19,758 to £23,325 if you are an unqualified Further Education Teacher starting out, whereas a qualified Further Education Teacher can earn around £24,702 to £37,258.
Average salaries at advanced teaching and training levels basically range from £37,258 to £41,928. However, the salaries for leadership and management roles can significantly rise.
The above rates are only advisory and are recommended for England by the Association of Colleges (check the University and College Union (UCU) – English FE pay scales). Information of rates may vary from region to region, as colleges can set their own salaries and cities like London offer additional London weighting as the cost of living is higher.
Working Hours of a FE Teacher
For full-time FE or College Teachers, typical working hours are 35 hours a week, sometimes including one or more evening sessions.
A lot of Further Education Teachers also work part-time or on a sessional basis via an agency and only work during term times with school holidays often included.
Career Prospects after the Teacher Training
Working as a Further Education Teacher can offer opportunities to work as a personal tutor, working with students in their own homes or online. Instead, you could take on additional non-teaching responsibilities, such as an admissions tutor or a pastoral role. Some Further Education Teachers can even work as an assessor for a range of vocational qualifications. You can also requalify to become a support tutor, providing one-to-one support for students with dyslexia or other special educational needs.
For more information about careers in further education, routes into teaching, and funding for training as a Further Education Teacher, you can visit the Get into Teaching website.
As a Further Education Teacher, you should be interested in work in a classroom, laboratory, or workshop, depending on the subject you are teaching. You should also be prepared to get involved in organising and accompanying field trips or study visits.
If required, some teaching and assessment will be conducted on employer premises with students who are on work-based learning or training courses.
Job opportunities in Further Education are widely available in most major towns and cities throughout the UK. Teachers in further education can also work part-time and will increase their earnings through private tuition, evening classes, external consultancy, teaching on residential courses, examination marking, or writing textbooks.
The partnerships between organisations have resulted in FE teachers working between institutions, e.g., schools, higher education, and community-based learning centres.
Becoming a Further Education Teacher can therefore offer flexible and diverse work opportunities with great career prospects for motivated and talented individuals.
For more information about teacher training and teaching in general, check out these articles:
As an Entrepreneur and Blogger at Bright Learning Centre, I commonly write and talk about the Teaching and Education training and qualifications that are required to get into teaching in the UK. I develop an immaculate insight into constantly bettering ourselves, providing advisory services for our students that help them to train and reach their absolute best potential.